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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Body Weight

Little changes form better habits

Chats in the Zoom office this week, inspired by Kellie Anderson’s blog on personal prevention strategies sparked sharing of our own little changes we might have made for the better against all the strange WFH/Lockdown/Covid odds.

Annie S. Anderson, SCPN Co-director

It started with the lockdown garage clear out where we discovered our mothers’ old tea sets. Memories of teacups and saucers from our childhood homes which were saved in glass cabinets and taken out only for special visitors (e.g. the minister or visiting aunts from Canada). 

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Personal prevention strategies : the overlap of Covid-19 and cancer

By Kellie Anderson, MSc

As we slide into the crunchy-leaved depths of September, Covid-19 remains our daily reality. So much so that perhaps some of us are thinking of our lives in terms of BC and DC – Before-Covid and During-Covid. 

This may or may not be a melodramatic assessment of our situation. Only time will tell.

During this unique and rather anxious time many of us have embraced helpful health behaviours, hoping to circumvent our risk of the more acute – and evolving – aspects of the virus. 

Occasional walkers turned into determined hill walkers; smokers quit in droves (at least the under-30s); and an increased number of us were more likely to be cooking, and paying attention to our diet

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The causes of cancer: implications for policy and practice

Professor Richard Martin, University of Bristol

Around 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK). Over 40% of cancers are linked to a combination of 14 major lifestyle and environmental factors that are potentially preventable. The Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) uses cutting edge statistical methods and genetic data on 10s to 100s of thousands of people to provide high quality evidence on: the causes of cancers; factors influencing the progression of cancer; new ways to predict who will develop or die from these cancers; and new ways to prevent cancer and its progression. 

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ABC – Activity, Bikes and Cancer Prevention #AboutABike

In 2015, I wrote a blog called #AboutABike which coincided with our social media campaign of the same name. I enjoyed reflecting about bikes in my family and my resistance to Lycra and the importance of being active every day. This year a new chapter opened in my cycling saga….

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Resistance exercise, anyone?

On a Saturday morning I would usually wear my exercise instructor’s hat for a ‘Move More’ or ‘CanDo’ session, both of which are initiatives for people living with and beyond cancer. These sessions have materialised thanks to the amazing efforts by Edinburgh Leisure, Macmillan Cancer Support, Teenage Cancer Trust, and the physiotherapy team of Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children. In the afternoon, I would then follow my own personal routine which would involve some running or resistance/strengthening exercises. Unfortunately, all these have been placed ‘on hold’ since March, and I find myself in front of a computer screen more often than ever.

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Snacking – for and against

By Dr Anna Gryka-MacPhail, Policy Officer, Obesity Action Scotland

Snacks vs. healthy snacks

Some people when asked what a snack is would point to crisps, biscuits, pastries or chocolate bars. Such products are heavy on calories but poor in important nutrients and were named ‘discretionary’ by Food Standards Scotland. We consume up to a fifth of energy from these products. This, together with the fact that on average we eat excess of 200-300 kcal every day, suggests a simple action: #sackthesnack. A 2015 survey found that more than half of the people would prefer to cut down on snacks.

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Should we call a spade a shovel? Polite names for Junk Foods and other extra calorie sources

Last week we launched our social media campaign called #sackthesnack inviting readers to take the challenge of swopping one daily snack for alternative behaviours like taking 200 steps, doing a little #kettlecise stretching or maybe even standing and moving to take a short phone call. The rationale for focussing on snacks was because snacks like biscuits, cakes, pastries, crisps and sugary drinks provide a fifth of our calories and cutting even one of these snacks in our daily life (and burning a few calories extra) might help us on the way to re-balancing our energy intake.

Continue reading “Should we call a spade a shovel? Polite names for Junk Foods and other extra calorie sources”

Take the challenge – #sackthesnack

Once upon a time a snack was a treat, an extra or a present. As a child I eagerly awaited the arrival of the 6.40pm bus on a Thursday which delivered Auntie Mary with her bag containing the Bunty comic and a small tube of smarties (“for my wee snack”). The conditions of use were that sweeties had be shared with my big sister and all adults offered one (they could choose their colour). As a rural living 8 year old this visit was the highlight of my week. 

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Paper of the Year 2018: Dr Katie Robb

Continuing our paper of the year selection…. Health psychologist and winner of the 2018 Scottish Cancer Foundation Prize and Evans Forrest medal Dr Katie Robb from University of Glasgow highlights the following paper about changing cancer related lifestyles and importantly our environments.

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